W ithers-Wilson’s Vocal Direction for the Theatre was the first book to be written on how the theatre voice specialist functions as a collaborative artist within the production process. Withers-Wilson was a stage voice and dialect specialist whose credits include regional and Off-Broadway theatre, television, and film. Her Chicago credits included work with the Goodman, Steppenwolf, and Northlight. Prior to her teaching career, she acted with the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, the Buffalo Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, New York, and the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky. She held a BA from the University of Iowa, an MA from St. Louis University and a Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Nan Withers-Wilson (1951-2006) taught courses in Dramatic Literature, Voice and Diction, and Stage Dialects at Loyola University Chicago.

“I had the tremendous privilege of having Nan Withers-Wilson as my instructor for courses in both stage dialects and voice and diction. There is absolutely no doubt that Dr. Withers-Wilson is the voice of authority on the role of dialect and vocal coaches in the world of professional theatre. Her experience and knowledge in the field have proven to be invaluable to me, both as an actor and as a dialect coach. Any director utilizing a dialect or extreme vocal work in his or her show, or planning to, would be well served to read this book. Dr. Withers-Wilson does not candy-coat matters, but says it quite plainly: if you anticipate having actors work beyond their natural vocal range, either in dialect work or by moving to extremes of their natural range, you need a vocal coach, and you need to make them an integral part of your production team as early in the process as you can. I cannot sing the praises of Dr. Withers-Wilson’s experience in this arena highly enough; she has quite literally written the book on the subject, and directors will ignore her expertise at their (and their actors’) peril.”
—C. M. Weigert

The voice of authority on the role of dialect and vocal coaches in the world of professional theatre.